Woody Allen’s long awaited new film, “To Rome With Love,” opened in New York on June 22, 2012 and in Cleveland July 6th to much acclaim. Woody Allen appears in the movie (as Alfred Hitchcock used to) as a retired music promoter named Jerry, who, like Allen himself disdains retirement, and gives himself the line, “Don’t psychoanalyze me! Many have tried. All have failed.” The scenes of Rome–the Trastevere section, Trevi Fountain–are especially wonderful. But how could a trip through Rome with Woody Allen be anything but a feast for the eyes? Is it surprising that the director places his characters in the “Eternal City” to discover the impermanence of all life?
In the New Yorker issue of July 2, 2012 there is a marvelous review by David Denby, who feels that what holds the pieces of this movie together “formally is the idea of seizing the moment, the magic you make for yourself by not being afraid.” Richard Brody reviews the film for the New Yorker Online.
The Village Voice has a lengthy review of this movie, but it goes into so much more. It starts with two paragraphs of a review of an older Woody Allen movie, “Manhattan,” that is identical to the first two paragraphs of the review of “To Rome With Love,” driving the point that, theme-wise, there’s nothing new here. Then the Village Voice review summarizes the tuning points of the Woody Allen canon, (Annie Hall, Stardust Memories, Midnight in Paris), Woody Allen’s escape from Manhattan to Europe, and his biases against sunshine, California, and Hollywood corporate executives.
Those of you who see this movie and have an opinion feel free to post a comment to this blog.